For much of this game, it appeared as though the Yankees were going to sleepwalk their way to a loss. Gerrit Cole got the start for the Yankees, and while he wasn’t disastrously bad, he seemingly wasn’t going to be good enough to keep the Yankees in front, as he got knocked out after three runs in 4.2 innings.
That’s because the Yankees’ offense was off for most of the game. They haven’t been good in general lately, even putting up just one run in a win on Saturday. However just as they were getting down to their last licks, they managed to string some stuff together. Harrison Bader came through with a massive RBI double in the eighth, saving the Yankees and helping them to a 5-3 victory over the Rangers.
The Rangers got off to a quick start against Cole. Marcus Semien led off the game with a double over a leaping DJ LeMahieu, and then came around to score when Corey Seager followed that with a single. An inning later, after a bad baserunning error by Gleyber Torres, Jonah Heim took a Cole pitch into the bleachers in right field to increase Texas’ lead. Before the side was retired, a Leody Taveras RBI double gave the Rangers a third run, which was as many runs as the Yankees had scored in the series to that point.
In the bottom of the second, the Yankees showed some semblance of an offense. After Giancarlo Stanton drew a walk to lead off the inning, Jake Bauers doubled to give the Yankees two in scoring position. DJ LeMahieu then plated them both with a two-bagger of his down, to get the Yankees back in it.
From the first inning, it was clear that Cole did not have his best stuff. However, he did manage to keep battling and prevented the Rangers from opening up an even larger lead. After a couple runners reached in the fifth, skipper Aaron Boone went to the bullpen, as Jimmy Cordero came in and got out of the inning. For his day, Cole went 4.2 innings, allowing three runs on nine hits and a walk, while striking out seven.
The bullpen mostly continued where Cole left off, occasionally putting some runners on, but working around them. Nick Ramirez and Ron Marinaccio followed Cordero with scoreless outings, keeping the Yankees in the game.
However all that was seemingly going to go to waste because of the offense. After LeMahieu’s double in the second, Rangers starter Nathan Eovaldi made it another couple frames, allowing just one other hit and a walk. Texas’ bullpen managed to escape a jam in the sixth after Bader had reached scoring position on a double. Despite that, going into eighth inning, the Yankees’ offense just looked asleep.
Starting off the bottom of the eighth, an ice-cold Anthony Volpe stepped to the plate. This time though, he came up with a big double, once again giving the Yankees the tying run in scoring position. After that was a weird at-bat, where Jose Trevino failed to get a bunt down but reached on an infield single anyway, only to have Volpe frozen at second (he would’ve easily been thrown out on had he tried to advance to third). Gleyber Torres then couldn’t get anything done, as he flew out to shallow right. That brought Bader to the plate. When he’s been healthy and able to play, Bader has come through in some big spots in his time as a Yankee. That was the case again in this one:
Bader got a double to fall just in front of an outstretched Ezequiel Duran in left-center. Volpe and a pinch-running Oswaldo Cabrera both came around to score, giving the Yankees a lead. Two batters later following an intentional walk of Anthony Rizzo, Stanton got the Yankees an insurance run with a single.
Michael King was then tasked with protecting the two-run lead in the ninth. While things did get briefly scary when he allowed a two-out single to Nathaniel Lowe, King bounced back to finish things off and get the Yankees the win.
After that improbable series win to wrap up the homestand, it’s time for the Yankees to head back out on the road. While they have tomorrow off, they’ll be back in action to kick off a series out west against the Athletics on Tuesday. Jhony Brito is scheduled to make his second start since being recalled, and he’ll face right-hander Paul Blackburn with first pitch at 9:40pm ET.